It’s shocking how many people talk about looking for solutions to their frizzy, damaged hair without once discussing their hair dryer. While hair dryers are a pretty common item, they are also something we use to basically cook our hair into submission each day, so you’d think we’d look there first when it comes to addressing damage and breakage.

Here’s the deal: Hair dryers have been popping out like iPhones in the last few years, and if your dryer is more than five years old, it’s time for an upgrade. Regardless of your dryer’s age, you’ll also need to invest the time to clean it monthly to ensure it’s performing optimally and will last longer.

What to Look for in a Hair Dryer

All hair dryers should meet a few basic standards. Your dryer’s wattage should be 1800 or higher. If you have curly hair look for a wattage closer to the 3000 range. Look for high-quality materials like ceramic and tourmaline. Heat controls are also important if you use your dryer for styling, so you don’t have to dry your hair on high heat, high strength every day.

Resist the urge to shop on looks alone. Just because something matches your rose gold iPhone doesn’t mean it’s going to do an excellent job with drying your hair. Read the packaging and make sure you know exactly what you’re getting in the box.

Also, if you ask your stylist what dryer they use and google the name to discover it’s $500 don’t feel like that means you can’t afford to replace your current tool. There are plenty of affordable dryers that offer fine quality for at-home use.

The most important considerations when purchasing a hair dryer is your hair type. Different dryers use different methods to heat your hair and to distribute heat differently.

Here’s what to look for in a hair dryer for your hair type:

Best Hair Dryer for Frizzy Hair

If you have frizzy hair, it’s likely coming from your hair being damaged. Just upgrading your dryer and the hair products you use should do a lot to reduce your frizz. It helps if you have a good nozzle attachment and a shot of tourmaline. Blow dryers that utilize minerals such as tourmaline lock moisture into your hair and will help keep it looking healthier.

If the tourmaline dryers are a little out of your price range, look for something ionic. The concept behind both of these is similar. Each works to quickly remove moisture from your hair before it can cause frizz.

Here’s your shortlist of dryers to check out for this hair type:

Fromm 1907 Lightweight Hair Dryer – $120
Bio Ionic Goldpro Dryer – $135
BioIonic Power Diva Pro Style – $150
Moroccanoil MO2000 Tourmaline Ceramic Hair Dryer – $220
Dyson Supersonic – $400

Best Hair Dryer for Fine Hair

Fine hair is especially sensitive to heat distribution because there’s less surface area to absorb the heat than there is with thick hair. Fine hair is especially at-risk for breakage when it’s wet, so dry it as soon as you can or put it in a protective hairstyle if you’re going to just let it air dry.

Porcelain and infrared dryers are best for distributing heat as evenly and gently as possible. Heat distribution is critical for setting a boundary between drying your hair and frying it.

Here are the best dryers in this category:

BaByliss Pro Carrera 2 – $67
Rusk W8less – $75
BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium – $90
Chi Ionic Pro – $160
Drybar Buttercup – $195
Harry Josh Pro 2000 – $199

Best Hair Dryer for Curly Hair

If your hair is curly, it’s likely thicker and takes longer to dry. Look for something lightweight, so your arms aren’t exhausted before you even make it to yoga. Also, make sure you pick a dryer that comes with a diffuser to help maintain your texture when you dry. If your hair is really thick, a titanium dryer will be your superhero. Think Clark Kent, but instead of being faster than a speeding bullet, it will make your hair dry faster than – You guessed it, the other hair dryers. For my fine-haired beauties, titanium isn’t for you.

Stick to heat you can handle. Here are the curly-headed favorites:

Bedhead CurliPops Diffuser Dryer – $30
FHI Platform Nano 2000 – $105
Deva Curl DevaDryer & DevaFuser – $159
Croc Italia Gold – $195
Varis – $232

Best Affordable Hair Dryer

There’s nothing wrong with buying a blow dryer that doesn’t cost $300. Professional brands like Dyson are meant to be used by, well, professionals. While they are a nice luxury to have and will last longer on average than a less expensive dryer, using something that doesn’t break your bank account won’t break your hair either.

The lists above were comprised from research and surveying stylists. Just prioritize what you need in a dryer and invest what you can into one. If your hair is thick and curly, you need a higher wattage and a diffuser attachment. If your hair is fine and frizzy, you need a dryer that utilizes minerals like tourmaline, and you need a nozzle attachment.

Whether you’re a diva who dropped half of her paycheck on a new dryer or just grabbed the first thing you saw at Walmart while you were picking up diapers, you need to maintain your dryer. Clean your dryer vent every month to avoid it breaking down before its time.

No matter how nice or fancy your blow dryer is, you still need to take steps to protect your hair from heat damage. Be sure to use a heat protectant product before you blow dry. I use this one because it’s silicone free and protects my locks up to 450 degrees while leaving them smooth and shiny.

If you invest in a blow dryer that has all the right features for your hair and you are still frustrated with lack of volume, frizziness, etc.; Then it’s probably time to evaluate the other pieces of your hair routine.

If you’re ready to treat your hair like it’s the thing on your head everyone can see, let’s chat and upgrade your hair products.